Boys Town Logo
Boys Town Logo
Former MLB Star Darryl Strawberry Shares Message of Hope and Overcoming Struggle at Boys Town

Former Major League Baseball star Darryl Strawberry speaks to Boys Town students

This story appeared in the Omaha World Herald on April 30, 2024

Dar-ryl! Dar-ryl!

Major League Baseball star Darryl Strawberry made an appearance at Boys Town Tuesday afternoon in advance of the organization's Booster Banquet.

Strawberry, 62, found renewed purpose through his Christian faith and is now a minister. He encouraged dozens of students gathered in the gym to not let their struggles define who they are.

“A lot of times we create this thing with people that have struggles that there’s something wrong with them. And that’s not true,” he said. “We should never judge young people. We should encourage them about the greatness inside of them. Because everybody has been created with some type of greatness on the inside of us to do what we want to do in life.”

During Strawberry’s 17-year MLB career, opposing fans would mock his name as the eight-time All-Star entered play. Along the way, he occasionally clapped back at fans, whether it’d be tipping his cap to the Boston Red Sox faithful in the 1986 World Series or smashing one of his 335 career home runs.

Best known for his time with the 1980s New York Mets, with whom he won the ’86 World Series, Strawberry was also a contributor to two of the four World Series championships won by the 1990s New York Yankees dynasty. The Mets will retire Strawberry's jersey on June 1.

As prolific as his on-field successes were, his off-field struggles with health and legal issues sometimes overshadowed them.

Strawberry continues to struggle at times with his health. Just last month, the Associated Press reported, Strawberry suffered a heart attack in St. Louis suburb where he resides. He now carries a defibrillator with him.

Despite his struggles, the laidback Strawberry refuses to see himself as a victim and was determined to deliver his message of overcoming struggle to Boys Town students.

“I think it’s a very important message to bring to the community: The importance of what we do to help to help our young people and continue to bring a brighter side for them in every area of their lives,” he said.

Strawberry brings the same intensity in sharing his message as he brought to his playing days. His Boys Town appearance is just one of what Strawberry estimates is about 270 trips he makes each year.

“I feel that the message that I’ve been given is to go out there and pour it out and help others to encourage others,” he said.

As serious as Strawberry is about spreading his message of encouraging young people to not let their struggles define them, he allows for some levity.

Asked how he felt about the “Dar-ryl! Dar-ryl!” chant, Strawberry laughed and said, “I really never thought anything of it. It’s just part of sports.”

“So many players take it personal when people yell about you and yell at you,” he said. “I had to have a great sense of humor about it. The most important thing to look at it is everybody’s chanting your name because you can have a great impact on the game.

“If I couldn’t have a great impact on the game with one swing, I don’t think they’d be saying, ‘Dar-ryl! Dar-ryl!’”

Read the story at